Madge beats Beatles to top poll
Chart-queen Madonna was revealed yesterday to be the most played artist of the past decade -- nudging The Beatles into second spot.
The star, who has been clocking up hits since 1984, topped a list of artists who have received the most air play and public performances of their recordings from 2000 to 2009 in the UK.
The figures were compiled by royalties body PPL for a British Radio 2 countdown which was broadcast yesterday.
Madonna -- whose massive hits have included 'Material Girl', 'Into The Groove' and 'Ray Of Light' -- was the only female act to make the top five.
The Beatles showed their longevity by being ranked runners-up, despite splitting three decades before the data even began.
Third-placed Robbie Williams came ahead of his former band, Take That, despite its new-found flush of success and chart domination, finishing fifth.
Fourth place went to Queen who continue to be widely played -- with hits such as 'Bohemian Rhapsody' -- despite the death of frontman Freddie Mercury eight years before the Noughties began.
Radio 2's People's Artist Chart -- which counted down the 50 most-played acts of the previous 10 years -- was drawn from recordings played on radio, TV and in public places such as pubs, clubs and shops.
The show was hosted by comic Patrick Kielty.
PPL chairman Fran Nevrkla said: "The latest People's Chart show is an accurate and democratic reflection of the most popular artists of the last decade, based both on what radio and TV programmes have chosen to broadcast in that time, as well as what people have been hearing in public venues."
Meanwhile, Madonna arrived in Malawi yesterday ahead of her week-long charity tour.
According to an official programme released by the pop star's charity, Raising Malawi, she is scheduled to visit the Millennium Village, a UN initiative in a district west of Lilongwe.
Madonna will be joined by economist Jeffrey Sachs, a development affairs expert and mentor of the initiative.
Today she will lay the first brick of her Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, signalling the official commencement of construction of the €11m academy, set to open in 2011.
Madonna has pumped millions into the impoverished African country and become very active in charitable efforts; she has also adopted two children from Malawi.